As society heads into the fall season, many businesses ramp up for end-of-year goals and initiatives. You may find more projects added to your plate as your team sets its sights on the new year. While the fourth quarter can be stressful, it’s the perfect time to excel and set yourself apart from colleagues.
Using the right resources to manage your stress is not only crucial in your success, but your mental health. Stress can eat away at you if you aren’t protecting yourself through self-care. When you maintain your mental wellness, you have better odds of long-term success in a stressful career.
However, if you’re at a low, it may be worth your while to consider mental health assistance. Some companies offer employee assistance programs where you receive a number of free counseling sessions. A therapist or online medical provider may even recommend starting medication like Lexapro or Zoloft if your mental health has really taken a hit. Taking care of yourself through stress is essential, and a professional could provide substantial support.
Once you’ve gotten a handle on your mental health, your next step will be to incorporate the right resources in your work life to prevent and relieve stress. Here are three tools that will keep you afloat and protect you against burnout:
There are plenty of methods to manage your time and be more efficient. At the top of that list is the prioritization. Arrange tasks by the date that they're due or by how long it'll take you to complete certain projects. Prioritizing will prevent you from getting overwhelmed and keep you on top of the most important projects.
Take it a step further and work during times where you’re more likely to be efficient. If you’re most productive in the morning, take advantage by scheduling yourself to do more work before noon. Use calendar blocking to prevent colleagues from scheduling meetings during your ideal working times. Organizing your schedule in this fashion will help you make better use of time when your motivation is at a peak.
Time management techniques like the Pomodoro method push you to dive into projects using a timer while keeping out distractions. With this strategy, you will spend 25 minutes with zero distractions, focusing only on tasks that need to be completed. Silence your notifications during this period to prevent interruptions. Once this period is finished, you will get five minutes of break time. You can allow yourself a longer break once you’ve repeated the process a few times. This strategy is especially useful if conversations in your inbox tend to throw you off task.
Improving your time organization and efficiency will keep you on top of deadlines and reduce stress. If your workload has you overwhelmed, time management can help you focus, be more productive, and thrive in a busy season.
A resource that has gained recent popularity has been artificial intelligence. Although these tools aren't perfect, they can help you get a jump start to certain tasks. For example, if you’re researching a topic, artificial intelligence can pull some bullet points for you as a starting point. If your work is in event planning, tools like ChatGpt can provide recommendations on activities, food, and travel. This resource is also efficient and incredibly helpful if you're up against a deadline.
Artificial intelligence is also beneficial for long term projects. In this scenario, the tool can use machine learning to understand patterns in your data, helping you find faster routes to reach goals. It can even automate tasks to remove manual effort on your part. For instance, if you're managing a complex construction project, AI can analyze historical project data to identify potential bottlenecks and suggest optimized scheduling. Using this resource could influence the overall efficiency of your team, and may lighten the load.
This new-wave technology may even solve major issues within your company or team. For example, for companies working toward diversity, artificial intelligence is able to remove bias and subjectivity when analyzing data. This is useful in preventing gender and racial bias during recruitment. If you’ve been tasked to make significant improvements in your organization, artificial intelligence will support your progress toward a challenging goal.
When you’re working in a high-paced work environment, learning how to use new technological resources is essential for staying up to speed. Artificial intelligence can create efficiencies in your daily work and propel you forward in long-term efforts.
Stress Reduction Techniques
Burnout is more likely to happen when you aren't actively dedicating time to stress reduction. A simple and easy way to destress is incorporating regular breaks in your day. It's tempting to work over lunch or skip it entirely when you have a full agenda, but those mental breaks are what keep you together amidst the stress. Give some time to yourself during a busy day by blocking your calendar or silencing your notifications.
When you have a lot on your plate, it’s important to find an outlet to alleviate all that stress. Exercise is one of the most common ways to exert negative energy and feel refreshed. Signing up for a yoga class is a perfect example of exercise that will remove tension and provide a mental reset. You can even find workout routines online if you can’t fit an in-person class into your schedule. As long as you get your body moving, you can experience the benefits of exercise.
Getting enough sleep may seem impossible if you’re in a stressful season of life, but it’s essential. Sleeping well keeps you emotionally stable during stress, so it’s crucial to maintain good bedtime habits. Set yourself up for a good night's sleep by limiting screen time before bed. If overtime work keeps you up late, try squeezing in an additional hour of sleep in the morning. Putting effort into your sleep routine will make you feel better, so it’s something you won’t regret.
Despite how important your job is, it's the time off work that will help you stay well energized. The time that you put into stress reduction will be rewarding and will aid your mental health throughout your career.
You’ve Got This
Don’t be intimidated by the fourth quarter sprint. You will bring your best self to work when you hone in on resources that make life easier for you. By using these tools in and outside of the office, you can continue to progress in your career during periods of stress.